UPDATED 15:02 EDT / DECEMBER 09 2021


Google Cloud and Kyndryl ink strategic cloud partnership

Google LLC’s cloud unit and Kyndryl Holdings Inc., the former managed infrastructure services division of IBM Corp., have inked a partnership to support joint customers’ digital transformation projects.

Announced today, the partnership places an emphasis on helping enterprises with use cases such as analytics and edge computing.

Kyndryl is one of the newest companies on the New York Stock Exchange. The firm made its trading debut last month after spinning off from former parent IBM. Earlier, Kyndryl operated as IBM’s managed infrastructure services division, helping customers of the technology giant to maintain their hardware and software systems. 

Kyndryl intends to expand its focus beyond infrastructure management following the spinoff. A few weeks ago, Chief Executive Officer Martin Schroeter detailed that the company hopes to expand its addressable market by hundreds of billions of dollars over the coming years. Kyndryl plans to double down on into high-growth areas such as cloud services and data management, an effort that the new partnership Google Cloud could boost. 

The alliance has several components. First, Google Cloud will work with Kyndryl to help customers advance their data analytics initiatives. Kyndryl will combine its data management services and integration capabilities with the analytics and artificial intelligence offerings available in the search giant’s cloud platform, the companies said.

Edge computing is another focus. Kyndryl plans to bring new vertical-specific offerings to market that will use Google Cloud services to “enable and expand connectivity, compute and analytics” at the edge of the network. The companies didn’t share technical details in the partnership announcement, but it’s possible that their plans could involve the new edge computing products debuted by Google in October.

Many large enterprises use SAP SE software to manage key business tasks such as accounting. Like other enterprise workloads, SAP applications are being increasingly moved from on-premises hardware to the cloud. This represents a major market opportunity for cloud providers. Kyndryl will draw on its IT management know-how to help companies move SAP software, and in particular enterprise resource management workloads, to Google Cloud.

Though the partnership targets cloud customers in multiple industries, Google Cloud and Kyndryl are placing a particular emphasis on the financial services sector. The companies will seek to provide solutions that help financial institutions modernize their IT operations using the search giant’s cloud services.

The partnership not only boosts Kyndryl’s recently detailed effort to expand its addressable market by doubling down on areas such as analytics, but also advances the growth plans of Google Cloud.

In October, the search giant introduced two new edge computing offerings to help enterprises process data closer to where it’s generated. Kyndryl’s managed services could make it easier for companies to deploy Google’s edge computing solutions. 

The financial sector, another focus of today’s partnership, is also an area that the search giant has been prioritizing lately. Google this year introduced a new service called Datashare that makes it easier for firms such as banks to access market data.

Kyndryl, the companies noted today, has provided IT services to some of the world’s top financial institutions for decades. Kyndryl’s customer base could potentially hold new growth opportunities for Google Cloud. In a sign that Google is stepping up efforts to target the financial sector, the search giant last month announced an extensive 10-year cloud deal with CME Group Inc., a major exchange operator. The search giant also said it would make a $1 billion investment in CME Group. 

Google Cloud Chief Executive Officer Thomas Kurian said in a statement that “bringing together Google Cloud’s global infrastructure and leading technology in AI, machine learning, and analytics with the world’s largest provider of managed services and IT services will accelerate global businesses’ ability to launch new, digital businesses and deliver their most critical workloads in a cloud environment.”

As for Kyndryl, it’s also partnering with other major players in the cloud ecosystem besides Google as part of the effort to grow its addressable market. Kyndryl in recent weeks announced partnerships with Microsoft Corp. and VMware Inc. to accelerate enterprises’ digital transformation initiatives.

To support growth initiatives, Kyndryl has set a goal of having half its employees obtain cloud-related certifications in the next few years. The company is now launching a program called Google Cloud Academy for Kyndryl as part of the alliance with the search giant. Thousands of new certifications are expected to be awarded in the coming years thanks to the program.

Image: Kyndryl

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